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Friday, September 28, 2012

Sometimes It's PH!

Bringing PH Awareness Your Community

By Kiara Tatum



Doctors are taught in medical school that if they hear hoof beats, they look for a horse not a zebra.  Meaning if a patient is describing symptoms of shortness of breath, fatigue or other common symptoms, then doctors assume common ailments such as Asthma, Obesity or COPD.  However, we as Generation Hope PH patients know that sometimes it’s PH.  So it’s up to Generation Hope to spread the word about PH and since PH Awareness Month is around the corner in November, it’s time we take action.

 

With help from Yusetty Medina, Community Advocate Manager from Accredo, I set up an informational table at my local mall to hand PH pamphlets to crowds of people for PH Awareness Month.  The goal wasn’t to raise funds, but to raise awareness about Pulmonary Hypertension for early diagnosis.  I ordered the free pamphlets from PH Association and Yusetty brought informational brochures from Accredo.  There were also goodies to hand out: chocolate, candy and bottled water to key chains, PH Awareness bracelets, flashlights, pens, hand sanitizer and travel size Band-Aid holders.  Together we talked to many different people from the young to old about Pulmonary Hypertension.  This year, I plan to do the same, but with a little more help from my support group to have a bigger impact on the community.

Yusetty and Kiara at PH Awareness Event 2011
You can do it too.  It doesn’t take much time to organize an awareness event.  There have been a couple of Facebook events called “Show Us Your Stripes”, and that’s something that we can all do in November by posting pictures of ourselves, family, and friends wearing zebra stripes and posting pictures online and explaining to Facebook friends what the zebra stripes mean.  Another simple idea is setting up display boards for the month of November at your local community center, library, college campus, or wherever you can find a spot that will be seen by lots of people in your community.  You can also raise awareness through the media by telling your PH story with your local newspaper.  Additionally, if there is an event already planned in November, maybe you can have a table set up there about PH, such as a local school concert.  Or request an Awareness Month proclamation from your mayor and/or state governor.  There are other great ideas for you to get involved this PH Awareness month.  Check out PH Association at http://www.phassociation.org/AwarenessMonth2012 for more ideas.

I have said it before that the PH journey isn’t so smooth, but by each one of us spreading PH awareness to others, we can make a difference.  We can help others who may be experiencing symptoms of PH get the help and early diagnosis needed to stop the progression of PH.  Don’t let another November go by without doing something.  Take action!!!

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